What is a MPLS network and is it essential to your business?
What to know about MPLS networks.
Data doesn’t just arrive instantly. There are technical protocols and procedures to deliver a phone call over a network or download a webpage after clicking on a link. The speed and accuracy of these data transactions – if the call connects or drops, if employees have access to 3rd party resources, if a website loads quickly for customer access – are all part of a successful business.
When thinking about data delivery and technology, it’s worth considering MPLS.
What is MPLS?
MPLS, or multiprotocol label switching, refers to a type of data transferring method, meant to boost the performance of your communications network.
How Does it Work?
Data travels from place to place through nodes. As it reaches each node on its destination, MPLS service “labels” the data with an appropriate label that helps move it down the data path to its destination. At each node, it receives a new label to make sure the data continues accurately and efficiently – hence the name “multiprotocol label switching”.
What are the Benefits?
When compared to traditional networks, MPLS can save businesses up to 25% in service costs. Businesses who are using the same network bandwidth to deliver voice, video, and digital data can gain even more cost savings with MPLS service.
MPLS networks can handle the addition of new kinds of data, so it’s a great solution for small businesses that know that they will be adding features to their business model or network in time.
Because of the nature of MPLS, there are fewer node “stops” or “hops” and data is transmitted more efficiently. This faster data distribution often translates to better response times, faster load times, and increased application performance.
MPLS networks are less likely to crash or overload because there are several network paths that data can take. This helps to provide consistently reliable service over time to both internal and external customers.
Less hardware: The technology of MPLS allows for less physical hardware necessary to communicate and transmit data, which might mean one less device to maintain for your IT team.
What are the Drawbacks?
Unlike data transfer that requires routers to get from point A to point B, MPLS offers less innate security features, like password protected or access restricted routers.
Like most new technologies, MPLS can carry a higher initial price tag than some traditional data routing solutions.
Who or what are the MPLS Providers?
How does a business get access to the benefits of MPLS? By partnering with a provider that has experience or capabilities in the MPLS technique. Some current names in the MPLS provider industry include:
- CenturyLink Business
- TransPacific Communication
- Zayo Group
When choosing a provider, make sure you take a close look at their project management skills and projections, their installation timelines, their reporting capabilities, and of course their transfer speeds before deciding.
Is your business considering upgrading to a MPLS network? What are your motivations for using MPLS technology?